BY LESLIE PAIGE – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today issued a statement expressing its support for Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye’s (D-Hawaii) pledge to enforce a two-year moratorium on earmarks.
“We were pleased when the President promised to veto earmarked bills in his State of the Union address, and we are glad to learn that Senator Inouye got the message,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “This is a major step toward ending earmarks permanently.”
Sen. Inouye’s February 1 statement read in part: “The handwriting is clearly on the wall. The President has stated unequivocally that he will veto any legislation containing earmarks … If any member submits a request that is an earmark as defined by [rule XLIV (44)], we will respectfully return the request.”
“Eliminating earmarks is a cause that CAGW has championed for 22 years. Based on our analysis of the earmarks in the Fiscal Year 2011 omnibus appropriations bill, taxpayers will save $8.6 billion,” added Schatz. “However, Sen. Inouye made it clear that he will re-examine the earmark process next year. Hopefully, every member of Congress will recognize by then that earmarks are a wasteful, unnecessary part of the budget process that should never be restored. CAGW will also be monitoring how members of Congress may attempt to circumvent the moratorium, through ‘phonemarking’ or other underhanded techniques.”